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Insecty Things

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "You Sexy Thing" (written by Errol Brown and Anthony Wilson and performed by Hot Chocolate).


Context

This is a song about gas exchange in insects.


Lyrics

CHORUS:
Insects breathe through spiracles!
They don't need lungs; they've got insecty things!
(Insecty things, yeah.)
I believe in spiracles
Since you came along with your sexy wings!

How do you do that, Mrs. Mantis?
You seem to get all the air you need.
Those tracheal tubes run through you in complicated routes;
They open into spiracles, which let air in and out.

Yesterday, I was one of the ignorant people;
Now you're educating me about anatomy....

CHORUS

How do you do that, Mr. Beetle?
You regulate the flow of air so well!
Just like a mouth, a spiracle opens and it closes;
The spiracles shut, conserving water, while the insect dozes.

Every day, you engage in respiration;
Now you're flying next to me, explaining it to me....

CHORUS

Breathe! (Through your insecty things.)
Breathe! (Though your insecty things)
I love the way you share the air! (Insecty things.)
You've got spiracles beyond compare! (Insecty things.)

Yesterday, I was one of the ignorant people;
Now you're flying close to me, explaining it to me....

CHORUS

Dig that oxygen!
Need a little more oxygen!
I think you're suffocating!
Gotta keep on ventilating!
Breathe! (Insecty things, insecty things.)
Breathe! (Insecty things, insecty things.)
Breathe! (Insecty things, insecty things.)
Breathe! (Insecty things, insecty things.)
[repeat and fade]


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) In the context of respiration, what are the human equivalents of the spiracles and the tracheae, respectively?

(2) What are the PLANT equivalents of the spiracles?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)